JERGENS OPENS REVIEW FOR $90 MILLION ACCOUNT

Cites Possible Client Conflicts With Incumbent Lowe

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CINCINNATI (AdAge.com) -- Kao Corp.'s Andrew Jergens Co. has hired AAR Partners, New York, to conduct a review of the advertising account for its personal care and hair care brands, said Brad Kirk, Jergens' vice president of marketing.

The accounts for several of the company's

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brands had been at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Bozell, New York; the agency last fall picked up the assignment for the John Frieda Professional hair-care business following Andrew Jergens' acquisition of John Frieda. But Interpublic merged Bozell into sibling Lowe, New York, shifting the accounts as well.

Client conflicts
"We're very satisfied with the long-standing relationship we've had with Bozell and the newly merged Lowe," Mr. Kirk said. "But our primary concern is related to potential future conflicts."

Lowe also handles Johnson & Johnson baby products, which include baby shampoo, though Mr. Kirk would not comment on the precise nature of the conflict concerns.

"While we are exploring moving the core [Lowe] team to another Interpublic agency, due diligence demands that we take a look at all available options," Mr. Kirk said.

Jergens spent more than $90 million last year on its namesake brand as well as Biore, Ban, Curel and John Frieda products, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

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